SUN Hockey Pool

Amonte embraces Calgary

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:54 AM ET

Tony Amonte is still getting used to the funky-coloured Canadian currency, the metric system and the cooler weather.

And he couldn't be happier.

The 35-year-old has spent his entire life in the U.S.

But when he was bought out by the Philadelphia Flyers a month ago, Amonte immediately turned his eyes north of the border.

"Coming to a Canadian city, and a definite hockey town, was a priority on my list," said Amonte, who arrived in town on Monday and has already purchased a home.

But more than anything else, he wanted to have a chance to win it all.

"Mostly, it was the team and what they did in the last season. And knowing that they really want to win.

"Speaking with Darryl (Sutter), they want to get back there again and are pushing to win it all.

"Who wouldn't want to be a part of it?"

Amonte, who scored 35 goals as a rookie in 1991-92, gives the Flames another proven veteran scorer. He hasn't scored fewer than 20 goals since the lockout-shortened 1994-95 campaign.

He may not eclipse the career-high 44 goals he potted for Chicago in 1998-99. But, if he's skating on the same line as Jarome Iginla, he's sure to get his fair share.

"Yeah, Darryl mentioned that," he said of the possibility of sharing the ice with Iginla.

"He's obviously one of the best players in the league. To get a chance to play with him would be a big thrill."

Amonte has played with some great players in the past -- Mike Gartner and Doug Weight in New York, Jeremy Roenick and Denis Savard in Chicago -- but he's still pumped over the prospect of playing the wing opposite No. 12.

"I've played with some real good players," he said. "I can't put my finger on just one but I'm definitely excited to hopefully skate alongside Jarome."

Amonte was part of the powerful 1993-94 Rangers squad but was dealt to Chicago for Stephane Matteau and Brian Noonan before the Blueshirts won the Stanley Cup.

He never got close with the Blackhawks although his Flyers made it to the Eastern Conference Final before bowing out to Tampa Bay in 2004. As fans around here know all too well, the Lightning went on to beat the Flames in the final.

Amonte, a member of Team USA at the last two Olympics, would have loved the opportunity to chase a gold medal. But he was snubbed by the selection committe for the '06 Turin Games.

"I didn't get asked," he said. "They're going with the same guys they brought over to the world championships. They're going with all young guys.

"I really wanted to play one more and try to win a gold. After coming up short a couple of times, it would have been nice to take one more kick at it.

"But, more importantly, we have a chance to win the Stanley Cup. That has to be the focus for me."


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